■ Jim Semonik admits that when it comes to industrial rock, "Generally, the perception is not so good, which is upsetting because there are so many interesting styles and records coming out each year."
One of the bright spots for the dark music has been his compilation series, "Electronic Saviors: Industrial Music to Cure Cancer."
Mr. Semonik, known here for the band Rein[Forced] and as an employee of Eide's Entertainment, launched the series in 2010, two years after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer at age 29.
Five years after the diagnosis, he's cancer free and the series has showcased 230 bands from all over the world while raising $38,000 for cancer charities. He has just released "Electronic Saviors: Industrial Music To Cure Cancer, Vol. III," with 67 tracks (100 on the already sold-out premium edition) from such artists as Combichrist, 16 Volt, Hate Dept, Stromkern, Rein[Forced], Panic Lift, Ego Likeness, Left Spine Down and Aesthetic Perfection. Proceeds will go to the former Gilda's Club of Western PA, now known as Our Clubhouse.
The Electronic Saviors project is finishing up a tour that hit the Midwest and West Coast, with the highlight being the three-day Terminus Festival in Calgary. It darkens the door at the 31st Street Pub tonight.
"The bands have been a godsend," Mr. Semonik says. "We have bands traveling to play these release parties that are not even asking for guarantees because they just want to be a part of it. They are excited about being involved with something this cool and they all devote their time and energy to write new and exclusive songs and mixes to the project."
He says that despite being in this scene for 20 years and having heard the refrain "industrial is dead" on many occasions, "I still have my mind blown by new albums. I count these comps very close to my heart because I got to work with a lot of my heroes which has always been a dream of mine. Last [week's] Madison show left me speechless and in tears by the generosity and kindheartedness of everyone involved."
The four-disc version of Vol. III is available www.metropolis-mailorder.com.
The release show is at 9:30 tonight with Interface, Cynical Existence, Vanguard and Agnes Wired for Sound; electronicsaviors.com.
Meet the Bells
■ The Bell Family Jam puts three generations of Bells on stage Friday at the Rex Theater.
The patriarch is drummer Tommy Bell, reuniting with guitarist Tony Janflone Sr. in the psychedelic rock band Marshmellow Steamshovel, which released one single on Head Records in 1968 ("Mr. Mold"/"Steamshovel"). With Steamshovel member Harry Turner deceased, the two original members will be joined by bassist Don Czaplicki and harmonica player Charlie Barath.
Tommy's son T. Mitchell Bell will play with his band The Wandering Coalition and T. Mitchell's sons Christopher Bell and Matthew Locy will play with their bands The Weathered Road and The Rusty Haywhackers. Shannon Jones, Tommy's granddaughter and daughter of Chere Bell Jones will play with her and her partner Joe Pritchard's band The Recipe.
"It is like planning a Thanksgiving dinner where everyone is the drunk Uncle," T, Mitchell says. "Seriously, we have never done this so I ended up being point guard for it. I originally was just going to finally do a CD release show. My son Matt played lead guitar on the record, and I wanted my other son Chris to open for me. Then I thought it would be cool to have my Dad play drums on some tunes. I asked my niece to sing background vocals. Then the light bulb went off."
The show is at 8 p.m. at the Rex, South Side. Tickets are $10; rex.greyareaprod.com.
■ Casino Bulldogs, which released "Fashion in Various Evils" last summer, is back already with a new nine-song album, "Stun Gun," showcasing the band's fuzzed-out indie rock sound.
"In the past, our sound almost always featured fast tempos with driving guitars and loud drums," says singer-guitarist Greg Trimeloni. "On this new album, we wanted to keep the big drum sound, but slow down the tempos and let some other instruments like piano and organ play a bigger role. The result is a slower, darker sounding album that also turned out to be our most rocking and diverse album to date."
Casino Bulldogs joins Velcro Shoes for a dual release party at 9 p.m. Friday at the Brillobox, Bloomfield.
Scott Mervis: firstname.lastname@example.org.